Feb 14, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Trump's moves threaten undocumented tech workers

Susan Melkisethian / Flickr cc

Trump's aggressive immigration actions stand to have a profound impact on the tech industry, as over a third of Silicon Valley's population are immigrants. Undocumented tech workers seem to be keeping a low profile, "because they fear for themselves and their families," said Laura Gomez, a former employee at YouTube and Twitter who now works with diversity and immigration groups, to The Verge.

What's next: Trump is exploring ways to undo Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era order that protected about 750,000 people from deportation. Now people worry their work permits, approved under DACA, will be used to target them in future raids, Gomez said.

Tech impact: Not only do efforts to crack down on immigrant work permits directly impact Silicon Valley employees and their families, it also makes filling crucial jobs and building a diverse workforce even harder than it already is. For example, it poses threats to several undocumented immigrants who have joined tech organizations like Code2040 that work to help DREAMers get their foot in the door at major tech companies.

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